Suresh Menon is a writer based in In­dia. In his youth he set out to change the world but later de­cided to leave it as it is

Friday - - Humour -

If you are a book­worm you will live longer, ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal So­cial Sci­ence and Medicine. If you are lazy, then it is a sign of in­tel­li­gence, ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal of Health Psy­chol­ogy. No con­nec­tion there, ex­cept in one case that I know: my­self.

Ladies and gen­tle­men, pre­pare to be sur­prised. I am a book­worm, and I am lazy, a com­bi­na­tion that makes me in­tel­li­gent and en­sures that I live long. A dan­ger­ously ap­proach­ing car mak­ing straight for me can be brought to a stand­still if I hold up my hand and say, “Hey, I am a book­worm, and its too early to die.” Not much sign of in­tel­li­gence there, but per­haps I could use my su­per gifts sep­a­rately. Af­ter all, do we know if Su­per­man can fly and catch bul­lets in his teeth at the same time?

There is an ur­ban myth – prop­a­gated no doubt by peo­ple want­ing to sell su­per­hero comics or get us to watch su­per­hero movies – that each of us is gifted in some way. Thus, there are peo­ple who can go from point A to point B without get­ting lost on the way (I am not among them), or can re­cite the al­pha­bet of six dif­fer­ent lan­guages back­wards. Some sing, some dance, oth­ers com­ment on those who sing and dance. No re­search has been done on this, but my guess is, granted a bunch of wishes by a friendly ge­nie, a long life and in­tel­li­gence must fig­ure near the top. Ev­ery in­tel­li­gent man’s se­cret de­sire is to live to be 100. Ev­ery lazy per­son’s se­cret de­sire is to be con­sid­ered in­tel­li­gent. That, in a sense is the cir­cle of life, what­ever El­ton John might think.

And, like the qual­ity of mercy, I have been twice blessed. Thanks in the main – and this is cru­cial, so fol­low me closely – to my own ef­forts. I may have been born lazy, but I also cul­ti­vated lazi­ness, worked hard at it (to the ex­tent my lazi­ness would al­low), and now it has all been worth­while. Also, I be­gan read­ing at a ten­der age and

Ev­ery in­tel­li­gent man’s DE­SIRE is to live to be 100. Ev­ery LAZY per­son’s de­sire is to be con­sid­ered IN­TEL­LI­GENT . That, in a sense, is the CIR­CLE of LIFE, what­ever EL­TON JOHN thinks

never stopped, some­times read­ing more books in a week than there are let­ters in the English and Hindi al­pha­bet com­bined.

The won­der­ful con­nec­tion between my two gifts – ly­ing about lazily while read­ing – means that I might, at the age of 70 learn to drive. Af­ter all it was at that age that Tol­stoy learnt to use his bi­cy­cle. So far I am one up on Tol­stoy, for I can al­ready ride a bi­cy­cle.

Too lazy to save the world, I am happy to read about oth­ers do­ing it, thus read­ing my way into im­mor­tal­ity. I may not be in the next su­per­hero movie, but I might out­last the lot.

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